Author Archives: Andrea Leigh Ptak

About Andrea Leigh Ptak

I am a graphic designer, editor and writer who specializes in publications. My 40-year career has included stints as Art Director at a small printing firm, Assistant Art Director at an advertising agency, and Production Manager at both a national advertising agency and a large national printing company. In 1980, I forged out on my own and never looked back. I owned and operated a successful full-service design studio in San Antonio, Texas, from 1980–1992. In 1993, I moved to Seattle, Washington. As the owner of Communicating Words & Images, I work with publication clients from the corporate and non-profit worlds. I also write a blog under the moniker: The Green Queen of Moderation—living an imperfectly sustainable life. The Green Queen shares tips and promotes ideas for sustainable living without going to extremes. Topics include the "re" words (recycling, repurposing, etc.), the green garden, green living, and simple gifts. My interests include gardening, photography, knitting, music of all kinds (I sing), theater, science fiction, and everything about the natural world. Two years ago, I received certification as a Master Urban Naturalist via The Audubon Society.

Rescuing Dog-Toy Plushies

Close-up of dog with a toy monkey in its mouth

Like children, dogs love their plush toys. But unlike children, dogs enjoy chewing on and ripping apart their toys. It’s a natural canine behavior that shouldn’t be discouraged. Unlike some, my dog takes a while to tear into her plushies, preferring to gnaw on them, shake them, snuggle them and carry them around, indoors and out, for months. She definitely gets attached to them. She knows them by name, and will retrieve the one you tell her to “go get.”

Eventually, they get filthy and develop rips and tears. Sometimes she gets serious and works to eviscerate them, pulling out stuffing to get at the squeaker. Since I know she will miss “Lambchop” or “Mr. Monkey” if they disappear permanently, instead of tossing, I wash and repair them. It’s not hard, and as the repairs are done by hand, I can make them while watching TV. Continue reading

Week Six Blog Post–BYOB

February is a very busy month for me work-wise. Self-employed, I have a couple of publications in the shop and am also working on my taxes. So, my recent posts this month are on topics that I already had the elements needed. This one, about why it’s a good idea to bring your own bag” when you shop, is an example of the type of post I can do when I’m busy with the rest of my life.

Self-Publish On-Demand with Espresso

Everything You Need to Know But the Price

The Espresso website gives all the basic info on printing your self-published book on demand, but it seems you need to connect with the individual outlets for your cost. The UW offers all the pre-press services you need, but again, you’d need to connect with them about cost. 
At this point, it seems like a good option for obscure academic subjects, family vanity projects (cookbooks, history, memories), but not so much for someone trying to reach a mass market. It depends on your goals for your book.